Best of 2016: America Again

America Again—Lara Downes (Sono Luminus 90227)

Bill O’Connell, WCLV Program Director:

“You’ll find the words of this album’s title in the slogan of what turned out to be a winning campaign, but the spirit of the pieces in this program is far, far removed from the rough-and-tumble of the 2016 election. In fact, the title comes from Let America Be America Again, a 1935 poem by Langston Hughes that moves from anger at current and past injustices to assert the idea that freedom for all is actually achievable: “O, yes, I say it plain, America never was America to me, And yet I swear this oath—America will be!”  Lara Downes curates 21 selections from a remarkable range of composers, men and women, white, black and Latino, gay and straight. Read the NPR First Listen review. America Again reflects an abiding faith and a quiet confidence that happen to be in short supply right now.  It turns out that appreciation of where we’ve come from—musically as well as historically—and optimism about the future are not passé.”

Featured Thu 1/5, Tue 1/17, Thu 1/26


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